March 27, 2014
By Cory Agular, special to Tulane Athletic Communications
Former Green Wave tennis player Coby Kramer-Golinkoff (2009-13) ignited the support and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis during his time on the Tulane University campus, and current student-athletes like junior track & field standout Thomas Lynch has continued it.
On Saturday, March 29, at 9 p.m., hundreds of Tulane students will gather at Southport Hall (200 Monticello Ave., New Orleans) to support Emily's Entourage, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds to combat Cystic Fibrosis, which is a genetic lung disease that affects about 30,000 Americans. Though the foundation is based in Philadelphia, Pa., the cause took hold at Tulane due to Kramer-Golinkoff, who is the brother of Emily, the organization's namesake.
Kramer-Golinkoff and Lynch said patrons can expect a college-style party atmosphere, but Kramer-Golinkoff pointed out that "it definitely has a different feel due to the energy and solidarity" from the attendees. Representatives of the organization will be selling Emily's Entourage tank tops, which act as tickets to the event, from 10 until 4 p.m. outside of the Lavin-Bernick Center for $15.
Kramer-Golinkoff began organizing the annual event in 2012 in his spare time between tennis and studying. Thanks to his efforts and dedication, the event has become a resounding success with students purchasing over 1,200 tickets both years and raising over $30,000 dollars. All money raised goes toward the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and its efforts to advance the treatment and discover a cure for the debilitating disease.
Typically diagnosed during infancy, Cystic Fibrosis causes mucus buildup in the lungs and creates difficulty breathing in addition to serious infections. Those affected are only expected to live into their mid-30s. Emily, who spoke on campus on Thursday about the disease and the organization named after her, continues to battle with the disease on a daily basis.
This determination is evident in Emily's accomplishments at such a young age. She managed to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and move on to where she works today, the Innovation Lab at the Penn Center for Medicine. Additionally, she has given speeches across the country at places like Stanford University and the TEDx Program.
Though Kramer-Golinkoff is no longer a member of the tennis team, current athletes have continued to support Emily's Entourage after his departure. Lynch, the Vice President of Tulane's chapter, got involved quickly.
"I met him [Kramer-Golinkoff] early on my freshman year, and I could tell he was passionate about saving his sister's life", Lynch said. "When I talk or think about her, I can't help but smile."
For Kramer-Golinkoff, the continued support from Tulane student-athletes is extremely meaningful. "What's powerful is the generosity," he stated, "and it's not necessarily a monetary contribution. To see people who are really moved by the cause and have a real stake in what we're doing is just really touching and motivates me to keep going."